Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer
Expected Publication Date: May 16, 2017, by Ballantine Books
I always know that it’s summertime when a new Nancy Thayer novel is published! Her books are the ultimate poolside or beach read—light, engaging, refreshing, and completely charming! Her books carry with them the very essence of summer.
Darcy is a divorced librarian who lives year-round in Nantucket in a house inherited by her grandmother. Darcy is beautiful, fun, and high-spirited and so far, one of my favorite Thayer female characters. Darcy’s just become involved with Nash, a sexy carpenter, and both of them are trying to figure out where their relationship is going—is it just steamy sex or a permanent relationship? This is something that Darcy must figure out over the course of the story and which was for me a little time frustrating, so I was glad when it was finally resolved.
Summer has arrived at Nantucket and with it brings the “summer people” converging on the town. Darcy usually avoids getting involved with her summer neighbors, but this year she becomes very close to the summer renters behind and on either side her house. At first, she is shocked that the renters behind her just happens to be her ex-husband Boyz, his wife Autumn, and his teenage stepdaughter Willow. Of all the places to rent, they had to pick that house!! Boyz is a sleazebag, and Autumn is no mother of the year, but Willow is a lovely girl who Darcy develops a lovely friendship, which is central to the plot. I loved Willow, but let me say again, Boyze was a sleazebag, and I could have done without him, but I understand why he was part of the story.
Darcy also becomes closely involved with Mimi, the elderly yet wise and a bit sassy neighbor who is renting the house next door with her thirty-something-year-old grandson Clive. In many ways, Mimi reminds Darcy of her beloved grandmother Penny, and they bond immediately. Lastly, Susan is the frazzled mother of three wild boys who is renting the other house beside Darcy’s. Susan is obviously in need of adult friends and some alone time, and she finds this through a friendship with Darcy, Mimi, and even Willow.
Although Darcy is the main character, these other women are major to the storyline. It is the friendships that these women build and the connections that Thayer weaves not just between these very real women but between other minor characters in the book that drives the storylines with each twist and turn. Everything in the story is interconnected, and the events are laid out in such a way that they truly shape the story.
Even though the plot is not perfect and a bit predictable, it is a fast, fun read as you get a glimpse into the day to day lives of each of these characters and how their interactions and connections impact each other. I think what I found to be most delightful was how Thayer developed the relationships and friendships of these four women who spanned the generations from teenager to mid-eighties and found commonality between them all—it was refreshing to see such love and friendship woven between all ages, which is very true to real life.
The story has romance, infidelity, betrayals, and friendship, and it is perfect for a light beach or vacation read. I enjoyed Secrets in Summer for a charming, lighthearted read, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a refreshing summer novel.
I want to thank NetGalley, Ballantine Books, and Nancy Thayer for providing me an ARC of Secrets in Summer to read in exchange for my fair and honest review.